Ted Cruz's Speech Wasn't a Filibuster. It Was a Democratic Fundraiser.

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 21 2013 11:33 AM

Ted Cruz's Speech Wasn't a Filibuster. It Was a Democratic Fundraiser.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) answers questions from the media after meeting with Republican senators regarding a bipartisan solution for the pending budget and debt limit impasse at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

President Obama and his congressional allies say there were "no winners" from the government shutdown, but Democratic campaign coffers are already telling a different story. The National Journal with a preview of September's numbers:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $8.4 million in September, according to an aide with the group, a significant sum more than a year before next year's election. The haul dwarfs the $5.3 million collected last month by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which was again out-raised by House Democrats despite holding the majority. To date this year, the DCCC has raised $58.2 million and has $21.6 million on hand. The NRCC has $15.7 million cash on hand.
The run-up to the 16-day standoff, which began Oct. 1, had a big impact on the DCCC's September finances. In the six days after Sen. Ted Cruz's [faux] filibuster, it raised $2 million online on nearly 100,000 donations, according to a committee aide. In total last month, the group collected $3 million from 160,000 online donations, helping push it to the best off-year September fundraising haul in the DCCC's history.

The story in the Senate was largely the same: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised their Republican counterparts by $1 million last month, $4.6 million to $3.6 million. The Democratic National Committee, likewise, topped the Republican National Committee—$7.4 million to $7.1 million—for the first time in nearly a year and a half. October's numbers will give us a better idea of the shutdown's political impact, but liberals are clearly expecting the gap to be even more pronounced.

House Republicans have plenty of time before the 2014 midterms to rebound, of course, but the latest batch of fundraising figures further highlight the current tension between the caucus' center and its right wing, which was quick to align itself with Cruz during the shutdown and made life uncomfortable for Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the House leadership. In fact, many of those House members who cheered the loudest for the gut-Obamacare-or-bust strategy have yet to pony up a single cent to the NRCC this cycle. According to Politico, which spotted the trend over the weekend, at least eight of the shutdown strategy's biggest supporter have yet to donate to the committee at all, while others have forked over only "token amounts."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 


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